Facebook now allows users to bulk import their e-mail address books so that they can invite non-Facebook friends to join in Facebook games and apps, including people who may not even have a Facebook account.
Facebook’s growth over the past couple years has been phenomenal; perhaps this new move will help the company maintain that trajectory by increasing the number of invitations to the network.
According to Facebook, these changes to the multi-friend selector for app invitations “make it easier for users to invite friends who don’t have a Facebook account. The multi-friend selector already enables users to invite friends using their email address. This [feature] adds a page to the end of the flow and removes friction from the process by allowing users to invite contacts from their address book.”
Previously, users had the option to manually enter e-mail addresses for non-Facebook friends; however, this new feature eliminates the need to search through your e-mail client to find the address you need. The importer also recognizes which e-mail addresses belong to your current Facebook friends, so the imported contacts list won’t contain many redundancies.
You’ll be able to import contacts from a web mail client (such as Gmail () or Yahoo Mail), from a program such as Outlook, Outlook Express, Thunderbird or Apple Mail. You can import files (such as VCF or CSV files) for other types of contacts, too.
We tested out this feature for an event invite, and here’s the flow we saw:
After that process, we were able to select non-Facebook friends and invite them from a list with check boxes.
Will this personally make it easier for you to manage your events, play your games and stay connected? Will it also help Facebook extend its reach into the inboxes of non-users and keep up it breakneck pace of growth?